Depending on how you chose to complete your lineup, either two or three running backs are needed each week. The days of just one running back controlling the backfield are waning but not lost. Securing these running backs will generally prove to be more costly but it is necessary. When working with a salary cap, this can be a real problem. It is also why when a low-priced running back appears to have the role in hand, they generally end up being a highly popular selection. But are they worth it?
That is a question to be answered on a case by case basis in the analysis that follows. The goal here is to look at game flow to ensure that touches will be at a maximum, it is a favorable situation against the opposing defence, and most of all that there is talent and expected fantasy success.
For those who have yet to subscribe, what are you waiting for? Until then you will get one free pick to whet your appetite. David Montgomery ($6,500 DK, $6,600 FD) stands out for me this week. Montgomery is the primary back for the Bears and is facing a Texans defence that has given up the second-most rushing yards this season and 4.9 yards per carry. The Texans have given up over 100 yards rushing in nine of their twelve games, and over 150 yards in six of the twelve. Keep an eye out for a big game from Montgomery this week.
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Let’s kick things off with Giovani Bernard ($5,000 DK, $5,700 FD). The use of Bernard this week is a pure value play. While Bernard has not been overly effective this year, he is going to face the NFL’s worst rushing defence in terms of both yards and yards per carry (YPC) in Dallas this week, and Dallas has given up the third-most rushing touchdowns. Keep an eye on him throughout the week though, as he is listed as questionable right now. If he doesn’t play you can pivot to Samaje Perine ($4,999 DK, $4,800), who is even cheaper.
While I have some concern about how chalky Derrick Henry ($8,700 DK, $9,600 FD), will be this week, it is hard to deny that this is an optimal situation to pay up for his services. He leads the NFL in rushing yards and is going to be facing a Jaguars defence that has given up the third-most total rushing yards in the league, and more than 100 rushing yards in all but two of their games this year. If you can find a way to get him into your lineup, you should be considering it.
Ezekiel Elliott ($6,600 DK, $7,600 FD) hasn’t had a great year to this point, but this is a week where things could turn around. The Cowboys will be facing the Bengals who give up 4.7 yards per carry and has given up 150 yards or more in half of their games this year and have only limited their opponents’ rushing yard to less than 100 just four times. I can see myself pairing Elliott with Montgomery in a lot of lineups this week with how they are priced.
James Robinson ($7,500 DK, $8,000 FD) has been a shining star in what has otherwise been a not very shiny Jaguars team this year. Robinson has had targets of 24 or more in three of the last four weeks and has a matchup this week going against the Titans. You may remember that in week two, Robinson rushed for 102 yards, and caught four passes for another 18 yards. His price is a little steep for my liking but the Jaguars are short on weapons so there should be an opportunity for him to have a big game if nothing else.
In week two Aaron Jones ($7,600 DK, $8,700 FD) owned the Detroit Lions to the tune of 168 rushing yards, 68 receiving yards and three touchdowns. While I wouldn’t expect those eye-popping numbers again, I would expect another big game for Jones. The Lions have struggled to defend the run and the Packers have historically performed well when playing at Ford Field. Look for a high scoring game from the Packers and Jones play a big part in that.
Christian McCaffery ($9,200 DK, $10,000 FD) has barely played this year (3 games, we last saw him in week 9), but when he has played he has been effective. This is a good matchup for McCaffery’s return, getting the Broncos who give up 4.6 yards per carry. When healthy McCaffery is among the best in the league, because of his ability to affect the game on the ground in the air. Watch his status this week, if he is playing you should consider using him in your lineup in GPP games, stay away from him in cash games as we have no idea how many snaps he will see if he does play.
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